How to avoid purchases you’ll regret

When you’re scrolling through your Amazon wish list or suddenly in a shop that has EVERYTHING you never knew you wanted, it’s easy to lose track of your budget. With a few simple changes you can make sure you aren’t filled with regret after every shopping spree.

Woman sits on sofa with head in hands looking at shopping bags

Set a personal rule

Everyone needs their own personal rules when it comes to shopping. If you still haven’t worn those jeans you picked up two weeks ago, will you ever? Try and avoid buying items just because they’re in the sale or buying items without trying them on.

Camilla Delacoe, a fashion blogger at She Hearts the High Street, recommends planning how your new item will work with at least three outfits in your wardrobe. She explains: “If you’re going to have to buy more new items to make the item work for you, it’s actually going to cost you more than you think.”

Put off the pre-order

Even if you’ve loved the other games in the series and you can’t wait for the new one to come out sometimes it isn’t worth pre-ordering a game before you know what it will actually be like. It could be catastrophically terrible and you’ll be down the full price of the game. Occasionally you’ll get a few free items like a free mug and picture book thrown in but I doubt they’ll make up for it. Wait till the reviews come out or some of your friends try the game first. Then you’ll know whether it’s worth splashing out for.

Say no to impulse buying

Do you really need that silver puffa jacket? Can you do without that toastie maker that prints a smile on each individual toastie? If it’s not on your list don’t pick it up on a whim. If you really like an item, take a picture of it and see if you can find it cheaper somewhere else. Then wait for a few days – if it’s gone from your mind, take it as a sign.

Avoid late night shopping sprees

Online shopping has changed our lives – for better or worse. Sure you can order whatever you want, whenever you want but you can also order WHATEVER you want, WHENEVER you want.  Try and restrain yourself from an Amazon Prime shopping spree after a night out. Waking up to discover you’ve purchased a six foot inflatable giraffe = one very expensive evening.

Primani vs made-to-last

It sometimes feels like we’re drawn to some low cost retailers on a sub-conscious level to splurge on tat we’d never usually buy. Would you tap your debit card on the machine if it wasn’t so cheap? Remember that you’ll usually be getting a lower quality product in low cost retailers. If you need an item to last a long time it might be worth spending a little more for better quality.

Camilla says: “The price of all the little things you didn’t really need may end up costing you as much as that one thing that you would really treasure.”

Say bog off to Buy One Get One Free

Supermarkets use advertising tricks, such as 3 for 2 offers, to make consumers spend more and buy the products they want to sell you. These offers often won’t even be value for money compared to other products not on ‘sale’ a few aisles away. Approach your supermarket trips with military precision. Get in and get out as fast as you can, and don’t let the bargain signs lure you off course.

Returning items and your rights

If you know after a few days that you might have made the wrong call then make sure you exercise your consumer rights and get a refund. Check the return policy of the retailer you’re buying from and always keep your receipts. Most retailers allow you to return a faulty item within 30 days of purchase and get a full refund within 14 days. The return policy of retailers can vary; some will allow customers to return an item if they’ve just changed their mind and will extend the period the customer is entitled to a full refund.

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